Playing at Love
Have you ever seen the movie Yours, Mine, and Ours with Lucille Ball? If not, don't rush off and watch it. But there is a scene near the end where the oldest daughter's boyfriend is pressuring her into bed. The oldest son catches them and punches him out. Her stepfather, Henry Fonda, then describes to her what proves you love someone -- and it's not sleeping with them.
That boyfriend was just playing at love. He would "love" her only as long as he could get what he wanted. He wanted her only for her body. And as I recalled the scene, I wonder how many of us play at loving God.
Most of us would never say, "God, I love You...as long as I am healthy, my kids are safe, my spouse is lovable, and I have a job." But too often this is what our lives say. We go to church, give a tithe, pray and read our Bibles only as long as life is peachy. Once life gets hard, we drop our protestations of love and turn to God in anger, "Why are You letting this happen?"
Well, it's not going to bed with someone that proves you love them, it's sticking it out when life is boring and when terrible things happen. God is not naive (though I think we sometimes wish/think He is). He knows this -- His name and His character is Love. Our Lord works in our lives so we cannot "play at love" and instead have opportunities to prove our love in the mundane and bitterest circumstances of life.
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